Boris Johnson fails to oust Lady Scotland from Commonwealth role | Commonwealth Summit

Boris Johnson’s attempt to oust a Labor peer from the post of Commonwealth Secretary General has failed, dealing another blow to his credibility.

No 10 had been working behind the scenes for almost two years to remove Patricia Scotland, saying she had failed to modernize the institution after nearly six years of work.

A meeting deciding whether to replace Lady Scotland with Jamaican Foreign Minister Kamina Johnson Smith, who was backed by the British government, lasted several hours as leaders struggled to reach a verdict.

But after several hours it was confirmed that Johnson Smith had lost and Scotland were reappointed for two more years. The next elections will take place in 2024.

Speaking afterwards, Scotland said: “It is a great lesson in humility to be reappointed as Secretary General of this great Commonwealth. To continue to serve our family of nations is a true honor and privilege and I will do so to the best of my ability. We will meet the challenge of the world with unity and determination.

In May, the Prime Minister publicly declared that he supported his rival in this role. Johnson said “the UK” backed the Jamaican foreign secretary’s candidacy for her “extensive experience and support in uniting our unique family of nations and seizing the opportunities ahead”.

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Scotland supporters claimed Johnson’s backing of a candidate, at a time when the UK is meant to be the neutral scrutineer of the electoral process, was an abuse of his position and compromised the role of the UK.

Johnson Smith tweeted: “Thank you to all countries and people who have supported me on this journey! As I have told many of you, if I didn’t make it, God was not yet. ready for me to leave Jamaica! Much love always, I continue to serve, and of course, sincere congratulations to Baroness Scotland.

Giving a press conference on Friday evening, Johnson dismissed the idea that he had been hit hard by the Commonwealth leaders’ decision to keep Scotland and instead insisted it was a “good day for the democracy”.

“What is the Commonwealth? It’s an amazing group of 54 countries that share values ​​and in particular the idea of ​​democracy, and I work well with Baroness Scotland – I’ve been doing that for a very long time since becoming Foreign Secretary I think – and I look forward to working well with her in the years to come.

“It’s a crucial moment for the Commonwealth. I think people are looking more and more to this institution, more and more countries want to join, they see the value in it.

Johnson said it was important for the Commonwealth Secretariat to provide value to members.


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Edward L. Robinett